Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. Also known as African American History Month, the event grew out of “Negro History Week,” the brainchild of noted historian Carter G Woodson.
One hundred sites of local, regional and national significance are represented in this first-ever tour guide of Black history in the region. The goal of this guide of Black historic sites in the region is to inform the public about the extensive history and also to draw attention to the need for preservation and reuse of many of the sites featured.
PittsburghUrbanMedia.com contributor Isaiah Beckham is one of the top winners in The Tribune-Democrat’s Black History Month essay and poster contest. The promotion, co-sponsored by the Ron Fisher African American History Educational Fund and the Community Foundation for the Alleghenies, attracted more than 250 posters and 60 essays. 15-year old Beckham wrote about what an inclusive culture looks like, Beckham said in The Tribune-Democrat that, "he was drawn to the question posed to high school students, who were asked to respond to this prompt: “What does an inclusive culture look like to you, and how can you positively influence that vision for others?” “I loved the question,” the Shady Side Academy sophomore said. “It really made me think about ways I could help my community become more inclusive.” Beckham said he loves photography – shooting for the school yearbook – while his favorite school subjects are chemistry and computer science.
Inclusion Matters Essay by Isaiah Beckham
I am a 15-year-old Black male living in America that does not see me as good enough to be included in society.
I live in constant fear of gun violence and crime that plagues boys that look just like me.
I understand what it means to be excluded.
Daily, I live with all the stereotypes and discrimination that come with having my Black skin.
For all accounts, I really am an endangered species.
“In the United States, generations of young Black males, ages 15 to 24 years, are prematurely dying from homicide and suicide.”
Despite what society says about me, I know it is important to be included in every aspect of life.
I am a Black teen with braids, I love colorful clothes, I wear Jordans.
Did I mention I attend a private school, I get good grades and I come from a loving family?
Why shouldn’t I be included?
I plan on having a successful future, where I can positively contribute to my family and my America.
Negative racial stereotypes are deeply engraved into our consciousness, and we need to make more of an effort to become inclusive through understanding and compassion.
All races, cultures, genders and religions can positively contribute in an inclusive world.
My vision of an inclusive culture is when we all can value each other as family.
We become more inclusive by learning about other cultures and understanding that everyone has value.
If we only sit back and listen to the stereotypes, we cannot make our America stronger or better.
We need to all stand up and dispel the myths about Black males and others who have been systematically not included in society.
I personally am working with my school’s Black Student Union to educate our community on our cultural beliefs so we have a more inclusive culture.
I am also a photographer and I use my photos to help others see the beauty of my culture.
Shady Side Academy started out as an all-white school
for boys in 1883, but now it is ranked as one of the most diverse private high schools in the Pittsburgh area.
I feel proud to attend a school that values diversity and inclusion.
When I am on campus, I enjoy having lunch with my Korean friend, meeting up with my Jewish teacher or laughing with my Irish teammate.
I am a part of my school’s varsity football team, and our prominent belief is “family.”
When you need someone to protect you on the field, you count on the best person.
Heading to the end zone, you have each other’s back, and that’s what inclusion should be.
An inclusive culture entails a society where I exist.
Black boys should not be fearful of being pulled over by police, and my America should value me being at the table.
I am committed to joining with future generations to work together to stop hate and division in our society based on ignorance and exclusion.
To value inclusion, try to better understand who I am as a person.
Don’t be afraid of me. I am not only what you see on the news.
Let’s start a conversation.
The book title Make the Impossible Possible (Bill Strickland, 2009) states, in principle, what Sam Young and Rona Tyler Young accomplished when they prevailed over seemingly impossible obstacles in Goochland County, Virginia. “Down in a valley where you can’t hear nobody pray,” they had to overcome the dangerous concomitants of Blacks being born in 1877 and 1883 respectively (12 and 18 years after the birth of the Ku Klux Klan, a mere 14 and 20 years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued).
During the Youngs’ youth, Whites lynched Blacks without the perpetrators being arrested. Racial segregation flourished in all aspects of daily life. Blacks addressed Whites as “Mr. and Mrs.” while Whites referenced Black adults as “Boys, Girls, Uncles and Aunties.” School desegregation did not end in Virginia until 1959! In sum, institutionalized racism kept the Youngs in spaces reserved for “coloreds.”
Rona gave birth to nine children (daughters Ida, Grace, Dolly, Nancy and Minnie; and sons Jake, William, Nash and Zack). Midwives delivered the babies. The nine children’s initial nutrition was breast milk and, sooner than later, they were fed non-pasteurized milk from the one cow their family owned.
Remarkably, for first-generation out of slavery people, Sam and Rona built a home on their several acre farm where they sustained their family of 11 by being accomplished in the art of “making a way out of no way.” Their “enough is as good as a feast” small home was without indoor plumbing. Instead, they located a natural water source and built an approximately 3-feet-deep “Spring” where water bubbled up through sandy soil. For bathing, rain water was collected in barrels and folks bathed in tin tubs. Home-made lye soap was used for multiple cleansing purposes. Absent indoor plumbing, the family used an “Outhouse” where old crinkled pieces of newspapers and magazines served as “toilet tissue.” A wood-burning stove served as the “kitchen range.” A potbellied, log-burning stove provided heat during the winter months. Fuel consisted of the wood they chopped and, when limited funds permitted, kerosene for night lamps.
In Goochland where the Youngs spent their formative years, there were no drugstores or health clinics –at least not for Blacks. The closest hospital was in Richmond, more than 30 miles away, a several days round trip in a horse-drawn wagon. It took days for a doctor to make a home visit, if a White doctor was willing to do so. Children did not receive the 16 childhood vaccinations that are commonplace today. Sam and Rona had a “home recipe” for every affliction, e.g., Mustard Plasters for colds; a cloth soaked in vinegar water and placed on one’s head and feet to break a fever; an array of potions and salves laced with herbs designed to treat various “miseries;” and, of great importance to them, solemn prayer.
Some of their daughters’ dresses were made from flour sacks. Proceeds from the sale of farm products in Richmond were used to purchase clothing for family members. Just as folks ate “every part of the pig except the squeal,” there was no such thing as “old clothing,” but rather “hand-me-downs” were facts of life until the last recipient literally wore them out.
Absent refrigeration, salt cured pork and fish were normative. Additional meat was obtained by hunting deer, rabbits, raccoons, and squirrels. The family grew their vegetables; gathered wild Watercress; made biscuits and cornbread “from scratch;” and “put up,” in Mason jars, wild Blackberry preserves. There was no mythical daily diet of “southern fried chicken” because to kill the chickens would have been to kill their egg suppliers. Similarly, cows produced milk, not hamburgers and steaks.
As a housewife, Rona worked the “can’t see in the morning to can’t see at night” shift. Sam did the same on the farm and, when possible, he earned less than minimum wages working at a sawmill or the local railroad. Refusing to be torn asunder, they bonded their family with love and made it possible for their nine children to do what so many Black parents have wished ever since Africans were enslaved in America, i.e., “that their children would go further in life.”
A mere four generations later, with systemic racism still flourishing, Rona’s and Sam’s descendants have truly gone further. Geographically, their descendants have travelled the world. From the confines of Goochland, they have settled in states as varied as California, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.
Although Rona and Sam were denied public school educations, they have many descendants who graduated from various postsecondary schools and institutes as well as an array of distinguished colleges and universities. A number of them earned Masters and Doctoral degrees.
Rona and Sam were limited to “making a way out of no way” on a subsistence farm, but their descendants have worked in a plethora of capacities/professions including the following examples: administrative assistant; airline hostess; automotive industry; banking; beautician; architect; business; corporate executive; construction industry; cosmetology; credit union consultant; elected government official; data analyst; draftsman; engineer; entrepreneur; equity and social justice advocate; higher education administrator and professor; law; media production; members of various military branches; minister; NCAA athlete; nurse; occupational therapist; phlebotomist; professional athlete; public school teacher and administrator; public health professional; real estate; social work; U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement; and U.S. Postal Service.
When “my soul looks back and wonder, how I got over,” one foundational factor is that every summer my parents, Russell P. Daniel, Sr. and Grace C. Daniel sent me “down home” to live with my maternal grandparents Sam Young and Rona Tyler Young. “Down home” was a summer safe haven from the traps that destroyed Black children who inhabited public housing in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. “Down home,” my maternal grandparents, genuine “hidden figures,” also made clear the tremendous value of things such as creativity, commitment, education, faith, giving, hard work, perseverance, thrift, and love of family!
Jack L. Daniel
Co-founder, Freed Panther Society
Contributor, Pittsburgh Urban Media
Author, Negotiating a Historically White University While Black
February 14, 2022
A message from Duquesne Light Holdings President and CEO Kevin Walker and Chief Diversity Officer Sara Oliver-Carter
Tuesday, February 1, 2022
Every February, Black History Month provides the opportunity for us to reflect on and expand our knowledge of our nation’s history while recognizing the achievements and successes of Black and African Americans. Their hard work, dedication and sacrifices forged the country we live in today and brought new, diverse voices to the table.
As we reflect on the American civil rights movement, we look to the leaders who lived through this pivotal time in history and continued to work towards equity into the 21st century.
The March on Washington led to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 followed by the Voting Rights Act of 1965. After these two pieces of legislation were passed, Black and African American representation in our government grew. In 1967, Thurgood Marshall was confirmed as the first African American to serve as a Supreme Court Justice. In 1977, Patricia Roberts Harris became the first African American woman to hold a Cabinet position. Colin Powell was the nation’s first African American secretary of state, serving from 2001 to 2004. When Barack Obama was elected in 2008, he became our first Black president. Only a few weeks ago, history was made right here in Pittsburgh when Ed Gainey was sworn in as the city’s 61st and first African American mayor.
Although progress has been made in the decades since the Civil Rights Era, Black and African Americans continue to face significant challenges, barriers, and inequities. Congressman and civil rights activist John Lewis dedicated his life to the civil rights movement and passed away in 2020. He shared the following sentiments encouraging people to advocate for themselves and others:
"Get in good trouble, necessary trouble. Nothing can stop the power of a committed and determined people to make a difference in our society. Why? Because human beings are the most dynamic link to the divine on this planet."
Duquesne Light remains committed to supporting the Black and African American community.
BRIDGE, our Black and African American Business Employee Resource Group, has fostered a space for innovative ideas, comradery and understanding. In 2021, they hosted our first-ever Juneteenth celebration and held several donation drives and workshops.
As a company, we have built a partnership with Real Times Media and award-winning Black newspaper, the New Pittsburgh Courier. As partners, we continue to power the Small Business Spotlight series, sponsored the 2021 Women of Excellence Awards and look for ways we can provide opportunities to our collective community.
We look forward to continuing our work with them and our community partners, like the African American Chamber of Commerce of Western Pennsylvania, a group that promotes access and business opportunities for minority-owned businesses throughout the region. This collaboration and others supports our of our overall efforts to increase the diversity of our supplier network.
As we pursue external opportunities, we are also examining internal processes which encourage diverse perspectives that are reflective of the communities we serve. In order to attract and retain diverse talent, it’s essential that we create an environment that supports an inclusive and equitable workplace.
Throughout February, we will celebrate our employees and learn more about what it means to be Black in America through several initiatives hosted by BRIDGE.
Together, we will continue to build not only a diverse and inclusive workplace, but also a community where acceptance is our foundation.
Duquesne Light Holdings President and CEO Kevin Walker
Traci Jackson has been a leader in the utilities and communication fields for more than 25 years. She has been a part of the Duquesne Light Team for five years, first as the Governmental Account Representative, and then advancing to the Manager of Business Customers. Currently, Traci is the Director of the Contact Center. In this role, Traci leads the managers and customer service representatives who support residential clients. Traci also manages the Major Accounts Team, which serves as trusted energy partners for DLC’s largest commercial and industrial customers. Working in this capacity, Traci establishes strong working partnerships that develop, coordinate, and maintain productivity standards. Prior to joining Duquesne Light, Traci worked for 18 years with Verizon, where she held a variety of roles within the customer service/installation and maintenance divisions, including twelve years as Area Manager of I&M/construction. With these responsibilities, Traci led teams who constructed the Fios build and equipped residential and commercial customers with service. A business alumna of the Pennsylvania State University and an MBA graduate of Waynesburg University, Traci began her career as a purchasing agent for Penn State University and Kaufman Department stores. Traci is married and has two twin sons, Tyler and Eric (18).
As an African American woman, in a key position at Duquesne Light, what is the significance of celebrating Black History month? Black History Month’s celebrates the significant accomplishments of African American people. It is these contributions that have created the opportunity for success for leaders like me, and they have also given me the responsibility to create opportunities for the next generation.
In your role as Director Contact Center at Duquesne Light Company, tells us more about your position and responsibilities. As the Director of the Contact Center, I lead our residential and business customer service operations, and provide direction to our support staff, quality assurance and training organization. The Major Accounts / New Connection team is also part of the group. Our focus is managing the relationships and the projects of Duquesne Light’s largest Commercial and Industrial customers
In your leadership position, how are you helping Duquesne Light “engage” with the diverse communities? The Contact Center and the Business teams are often considered the front door to DLC. We ensure that DLC is available to assist all our community members including our small to large business customers who are considering establishing business within our footprint which may bring additional growth and opportunity to our area. We are #heretohelp.
Reflecting on history, who inspired you to become the leader you are today? Our greatest inspirations are often those closest to us. My mother played an important part of shaping the leader I am today. As an educator, she stressed the importance of continuous learning and community service.
Duquesne Light Company (DLC) is committed to more than keeping the lights on; we power the moments in our customers’ lives. As a next-generation energy company based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, DLC’s 1,700-plus employees are dedicated to providing safe, reliable, resilient and affordable power to more than 600,000 customers across southwestern Pennsylvania, including the city of Pittsburgh. To learn more, visit DuquesneLight.com
January 31, 2022
NATIONAL BLACK HISTORY MONTH, 2022
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Each February, National Black History Month serves as both a celebration and a powerful reminder that Black history is American history, Black culture is American culture, and Black stories are essential to the ongoing story of America -- our faults, our struggles, our progress, and our aspirations. Shining a light on Black history today is as important to understanding ourselves and growing stronger as a Nation as it has ever been. That is why it is essential that we take time to celebrate the immeasurable contributions of Black Americans, honor the legacies and achievements of generations past, reckon with centuries of injustice, and confront those injustices that still fester today.
Our Nation was founded on an idea: that all of us are created equal and deserve to be treated with equal dignity throughout our lives. It is a promise we have never fully lived up to but one that we have never, ever walked away from. The long shadows of slavery, Jim Crow, and redlining -- and the blight of systemic racism that still diminishes our Nation today -- hold America back from reaching our full promise and potential. But by facing those tragedies openly and honestly and working together as one people to deliver on America's promise of equity and dignity for all, we become a stronger Nation -- a more perfect version of ourselves.
Across the generations, countless Black Americans have demonstrated profound moral courage and resilience to help shape our Nation for the better. Today, Black Americans lead industries and movements for change, serve our communities and our Nation at every level, and advance every field across the board, including arts and sciences, business and law, health and education, and many more. In the face of wounds and obstacles older than our Nation itself, Black Americans can be seen in every part of our society today, strengthening and uplifting all of America.
Vice President Harris and I are deeply committed to advancing equity, racial justice, and opportunity for Black Americans as we continue striving to realize America's founding promise. That began by building a Federal Government that looks like America: including the first Black Secretary of Defense, the first Black woman to head the Office of Management and Budget, the first Black man to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, the first Black woman to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development in more than 40 years, the first Black chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisors, a Black Ambassador representing America at the United Nations, and the first Black and South Asian Vice President in our history. We have been proud to appoint accomplished Black Americans to serve in a vast array of roles across our Administration. I am prouder still to have already nominated eight Black women to serve as Federal appellate judges -- matching in just 1 year the total number of Black women who have ever served on Federal appeals courts.
My Administration has worked hard to reverse decades of underinvestment in Black communities, schools, and businesses. Both the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law are making historic investments in Black America -- from vaccine shots in arms to checks in families' pockets and tax cuts for working families with children to a landmark $5.8 billion investment in and support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. And in my first year in office, the American Rescue Plan provided the full Child Tax Credit to the lower income families of more than 26 million children -- who are disproportionately Black -- and put us on a path to cut Black child poverty in half.
As the Infrastructure Law continues to be implemented, we will expand on that progress. Lead service lines that have contaminated the water of too many homes and schools in Black communities will be removed and replaced. We will deliver high-speed internet to every community so that no Black family is left behind in the 21st century economy. Historic investments in public transportation will help more people in more neighborhoods get to where good jobs actually are quickly and safely. We will reconnect Black neighborhoods cut off from opportunity by highways that were built to brush them aside. Long-standing environmental injustices that have hit Black communities the hardest will be remediated. We will deliver major investments in Black entrepreneurs and small businesses -- including making the Minority Business Development Agency permanent and seeding it with a record $110 million in new resources to help level the playing field for Black businesses.
But this is only the start. To fulfill America's promise for all, we will work tirelessly in the year ahead to deliver on my Build Back Better agenda, bringing down the costs that families face on child care, housing, education, health care, prescription drugs, and so much more. We will continue to battle the COVID-19 pandemic with equity at the center of our response. We will not rest until we have protected the foundation of our democracy: the sacred right to vote. And we will fight to keep dismantling all of those structural inequities that have served as barriers for Black families for generations.
As we celebrate National Black History Month, let us all recommit ourselves to reach for that founding promise. Let us continue to fight for the equity, opportunity, and dignity to which every Black American is due in equal measure. Let us carry forward the work to build an America that is, in the beautiful words of the poet Amanda Gorman, "Bruised, but whole -- benevolent, but bold, fierce, and free."
NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim February 2022 as National Black History Month. I call upon public officials, educators, librarians, and all the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirty-first day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-sixth.
JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.
The Underground Railroad was a series of complex secret routes, churches, institutions and privately-owned homes that aided runaway slaves on the dangerous journey north. Pennsylvania, the first free state north of the Mason-Dixon line, provided many entry points to freedom. Learn more about the underground railroad sites throughout Pennsylvania.
2022 theme is Black Health and Wellness
HARRISBURG, Jan. 28 – State Reps. Donna Bullock, Summer Lee and Carol Hill-Evans have introduced a resolution to recognize February 2022 as Black History Month in Pennsylvania.
The 2022 theme is Black Health and Wellness, acknowledging the legacy of Black scholars and medical practitioners in Western medicine but also other ways of knowing, such as midwives, naturopaths and herbalists, throughout the African Diaspora. In Pennsylvania, the theme of health and wellness correlates directly to the work of the PA Legislative Black Caucus on health equity during the pandemic.
“Black History Month would not have been possible without the creation of Negro History Week in the United States by famous historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association for the Study of Negro life and history,” said Bullock, who is also chair of the PA Legislative Black Caucus. “The focus was to teach and encourage the history of Black Americans at a primary level.”
Bullock said Woodson’s vision later evolved in 1969, where the idea of Black History Month -- instead of a week -- was promoted by students and educators at Kent State University followed by its first celebration on campus in 1970. U.S. President Gerald Ford praised Black History Month and urged citizens to seize the opportunity to honor the too often neglected and overlooked accomplishments of Black Americans throughout history.
CITY OF PITTSBURGH TO CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH WITH TRIBUTE TO PHOTOGRAPHER CHARLES TEENIE HARRIS
In February, the City of Pittsburgh will celebrate Black History Month by showcasing the life and works of photographer Charles “Teenie” Harris, a Pittsburgh native whose four-decade career with The Pittsburgh Courier – one of the nation’s most influential Black newspapers – created an unparalleled chronicle of Black American life, culture and history during the mid-twentieth century.
An online photo gallery and monthlong display in the City-County Building’s grand lobby – entitled “TEENIE HARRIS: THE MAN BEHIND THE LENS” – will feature 50+ photographs, examples of Harris’ prototype cameras, books and other memorabilia to showcase Harris’ life and work for the Pittsburgh region.
“Working in partnership with the Teenie Harris Archive at Carnegie Museum of Art, the City’s Black History Month celebration will focus on the life of this extraordinary man,” according to Brian Katze, Manager of the City of Pittsburgh Office of Special Events. “We’re excited to celebrate the accomplishments of a lifelong Pittsburgher so proficient at his craft that he was referred to as ‘One Shot’ for his ability to take the perfect photo in a single exposure.”
While Harris chronicled countless celebrities, athletes and civil rights leaders throughout his illustrious career, he also focused his lens on documenting the daily life of African Americans at churches, civic events, barber shops and Little League games.
“'The Man Behind the Lens' exhibition will celebrate the personal life of a remarkable Pittsburgher who lived in the Hill District, raised a family, contributed to his community and left a legacy,” said Katze. “Serving as the perfect complement to the City’s celebration is Carnegie Museum of Art’s dedicated gallery for the works of Teenie Harris, which focuses primarily on his professional achievement.”
The museum’s dedicated gallery, “In Sharp Focus: Charles ‘Teenie’ Harris,” is located in the museum’s Scaife Galleries. It features iconic examples of Harris’ photographs and hosts educational programs and community events inspired by this world-renowned collection, which boasts 80,000 images.
“As both a member and documentarian of the Black community, Harris remains an iconic figure in Pittsburgh to this day,” said Charlene Foggie-Barnett, Teenie Harris Community Archivist at Carnegie Museum of Art. “Through the Charles ‘Teenie’ Harris Archive at Carnegie Museum of Art, we celebrate Harris’ tremendous legacy and create opportunities for creative collaboration in our region and beyond. We are honored to partner with the City of Pittsburgh on ‘Teenie Harris: The Man Behind the Lens’ during Black History Month this year, especially as Mayor Gainey, Pittsburgh’s first Black mayor, begins his new term.”
For more information concerning the City of Pittsburgh Black History Month celebration, visit www.pittsburghpa.gov/events or call the Office of Special Events at 412-255-2493.
The City of Pittsburgh’s celebration of Black History Month is presented by the Office of Special Events in partnership with Carnegie Museum of Art and is sponsored by AARP Pennsylvania, KDKA Radio, 100.7 Star, Y108 and 93.7 The Fan.
For more information about Carnegie Museum of Art’s Teenie Harris Archive and dedicated gallery “In Sharp Focus,” visit https://cmoa.org/art/teenie-harris-archive/ and https://cmoa.org/exhibition/in-sharp-focus-charles-teenie-harris/.
Black History Month celebrations and virtual programming planned throughout February
The Pittsburgh Penguins will kick off a month of Black History Month celebrations on Sunday, January 30, when the team hosts the Los Angeles Kings at 1 p.m. at PPG Paints Arena.
During the month of February, the Penguins will celebrate Black History Month through virtual programming focused on elevating Black leaders and change-makers, sharing inspiring stories of historic resilience, and connecting our fans to one another through their love for hockey.
Last summer the Penguins opened the Willie O'Ree Academy to offer free, high-quality training and support to local Black youth hockey players and their families. This fall the team opened a seasonal indoor hockey rink at the Hunt Armory in Shadyside to host its hockey diversity programming.
"The Penguins are devoted to supporting the youth of our city and the Black community. It's part of our mission, and we're happy to lead the National Hockey League and the city of Pittsburgh in celebrating Black History Month all through February," Penguins President David Morehouse said.
Join the Penguins this Black History Month, as we inspire, connect, and elevate in person and virtually through programming that unites our community, staff, and fans. These programs will feature NHL players and executives, community leaders, and Penguins front office staff, as we come together this Black History Month.
On Sunday, January 30 at 1 p.m., the team will hold a Black Hockey History Day at PPG Paints Arena as the Penguins play the Los Angeles Kings. Prior to the puck drop, there will be opportunities for fans to connect in person with networking events, and there will be a special exhibit on Black hockey from the Hockey Hall of Fame.
All fans in attendance will receive a rally towel presented by CNX.
At the Black Hockey History game, fans will be able to visit the first-of-its-kind exhibit from the Hockey Hall of Fame detailing the history of Black hockey with memorabilia from HHOF Honored Members Grant Fuhr, Jarome Iginla, Angela James, and Willie O'Ree, in addition to hockey artifacts dating as far back as 1905. The Willie O'Ree Community Hero Award will also be on display.
The exhibit is being funded by a grant to the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation from the Irene W. and C.B Pennington Foundation to highlight and celebrate diversity in hockey.
Fans will also connect with diverse organizations at concourse activation tables near the exhibit, which will be located in the Hallmark Hall of Champions, behind the Captain Morgan Club.
Through the month of February, the Penguins will honor and celebrate Black History Month by providing a series of virtual programming for our partners, community, staff, and fans.
"We take seriously our responsibility to institute positive, systemic change as we look to use our sport and influence to be champions of diversity and inclusion, both on and off the ice, and our virtual Black History Month programming allows us to reach our fans in our community and beyond," said Delvina L. Morrow, the Penguins' Senior Director of Strategic and Community Initiatives, and DEI.
Programming will feature NHL players and executives, community leaders, and Penguins front office staff, as they celebrate Black History Month, sharing inspiring stories of historic resilience, connecting our fans to one another through their love of
hockey, and elevating Black leaders and change-makers.
More details on the virtual events will be announced soon. Please visit the team's Black History Month webpage to sign up for updates.
The Smithsonian-affiliated Senator John Heinz History Center interprets and preserves African American history and culture year-round through a variety of events and exhibitions curated by the museum’s African American Program.
In recognition of Black History Month, the African American Program of the Heinz History Center will present a series of FREE virtual programs throughout February:
Eighth Annual Black History Month Lecture
“She Took Justice: The Black Woman, Law, And Power”
Friday, Feb. 18 · 5:30-7:30 p.m.
In a virtual lecture, Dr. Gloria J. Browne-Marshall will discuss her book “She Took Justice: The Black Woman, Law, and Power,” which explores the Black woman’s miraculous journey from Africa to political power brokers in American politics. She will delve into the lives of famous, infamous, and forgotten women in history from 1619 to 1969 and how they sought justice.
Dr. Browne-Marshall is a constitutional law professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY) and has received several honors for her work with civil rights, social justice, and women's equality issues, including a Pulitzer Center grant. She is also a civil rights attorney who has litigated cases for Southern Poverty Law Center in Alabama, Community Legal Services in Philadelphia, and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Inc. Read her full bio here.
Admission is FREE for this virtual program, but advance registration is required.
From Slavery to Freedom Film Series
“Blood Brothers, Malcom X and Muhammad Ali”
Wednesday, Feb. 23 · 5:30 p.m.
The From Slavery to Freedom Film Series, in partnership with the Frick Environmental Center of the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy, examines themes from the History Center’s award-winning exhibition through the presentation of film screenings throughout the year.
For Black History Month, the History Center will host a virtual screening of “Blood Brothers: Malcolm X & Muhammad Ali,” produced by Kenya Barris and directed by Marcus A. Clarke. Set within the Civil Rights Movement, the film explores the friendship and falling out of the Nation of Islam Minister Malcolm X and Olympic champion and heavyweight contender Muhammad Ali.
Admission is FREE for this virtual program, but advance registration is required. Visit heinzhistorycenter.org/events for updates on how to register.
Educational Programs for Students and Teachers
For this year’s Black History Month theme, Black Health and Wellness, the History Center educators will offer free programs for teachers and students that focus on the history and legacy of Pittsburgh’s Freedom House Ambulance Service. Space is very limited, so teachers should e-mail Jocelyn McLaughlin at email@example.com for more information.
“History and the Legacy of the Freedom House”
Thursday, Feb. 17
10 a.m., grades 3–7
1 p.m., grades 8–12
The History Center will host “The History and Legacy of the Freedom House,” a free webinar for teachers and students. This virtual program will explore the story of the Freedom House Ambulance Service, a trailblazing agency that trained African American men and women as paramedics to deliver lifesaving medical care to the Hill District, a predominantly Black neighborhood in Pittsburgh. Learn more about how Freedom House shaped a generation of emergency service professionals and set the standards for modern emergency medicine.
Admission is FREE for this virtual teacher program, but advance registration is required for both webinars.
“John Moon: The Legacy of the Freedom House Ambulance Service”
Thursday, Feb. 24
10 a.m., grades 3–7
1 p.m., grades 8–12
The History Center will host “John Moon: The Legacy of the Freedom House Ambulance Service,” a free live webinar and Q&A session for teachers and students. During this virtual program, students and teachers will hear from John Moon, a former Freedom House Ambulance Paramedic, as he discusses his experiences working at Freedom House and for the City of Pittsburgh for almost 40 years. Learn more about how the Freedom House Ambulance Service changed emergency medical services and set the standards for emergency professionals from the man who was there.
Admission is FREE for this virtual teacher program, but advance registration is required for both webinars. Visit heinzhistorycenter.org/events for updates on how to register.
Exhibits Highlight Black Heritage in Western Pa.
In addition to Black History Month programming, African American history is on display daily within the History Center’s six floors of exhibitions, including the award-winning From Slavery to Freedom exhibition, which explores more than 250 years of African American history in Western Pa. The long-term exhibit highlights the enslavement of Africans and its effect on the American economy, the history of the anti-slavery movement, the Underground Railroad, and the impact of 19th-century activism on the modern quest for civil and human rights in Pittsburgh. The newly expanded Pittsburgh: A Tradition of Innovation exhibition honors several African Americans who made trailblazing breakthroughs, including Dr. Velma Scantlebury, the nation’s first African American woman transplant surgeon and student of UPMC’s late Dr. Thomas Starzl.
MEDIA NOTE: Samuel W Black, the History Center’s director of African American programs, is available for interviews to discuss these exhibits, events, and the importance of preserving Black history in Western Pa.
The Senator John Heinz History Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and the largest history museum in Pennsylvania, presents American history with a Western Pennsylvania connection. The History Center and Sports Museum are located at 1212 Smallman Street in the city’s Strip District. The History Center’s family of museums includes the Sports Museum; the Fort Pitt Museum in historic Point State Park; and Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, a National Historic Landmark located in Avella, Pa., in Washington County. More information is available at www.heinzhistorycenter.org.
While we hope you’ll be able to explore the Black History Month book displays and resources in our branches this February, we also gathered and developed a variety of virtual programming and booklists to engage the community remotely—not only during this special month-long celebration, but throughout the year.
Dr. Carter G. Woodson, founder of Black History Month, began the observance in 1926 to coincide with the week in February that hosted the birthdays of both Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln. What began as a celebration of Black accomplishments in history has grown into an annual tradition and prompted widespread discussion on the Black experience. Every year a theme is chosen with over 90 celebrated since 1928 (source: asalh.org).
The Association for the Study of African American Life and History has named the theme for 2022 “Black Health and Wellness.” This year’s theme will not only acknowledge notable Black scholars and practitioners in medicine but also honor activities and initiatives that Black communities have participated in for health and wellness. More information on this year’s theme can found on the ASALH website.
A directory of this year’s Black History Month resources from the Library can be found below. Items will appear linked as they become available online.
Virtual Programs and Videos:
Blog Posts and Staff Picks:
Also, check out our social media channels for more informative content and features!
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